March 24, 2006

Snowy March in California boosts water supplies

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A wet March led the 29 water and
irrigation districts served by the California Department of
Water Resources (CDWR) to see their allotments for the 2006
water year increase to 80 percent from 70 percent, the CDWR
announced on Friday.

The 29 contractors who buy water from the CDWR serve more
than 23 million in California and about 750,000 acres of
irrigated farmland.

The districts ask for 100 percent (4.1 million acre-feet)
of their allotments and each year depending on the amount of
available water are given a percentage of it. A year ago, the
CDWR increased to 90 percent its annual allotments on May 31.

So, the current 80 percent allotment (3.3 million
acre-feet) may increase again, said CDWR spokesman Don

January and February were rather dry but in March the
Sierras got a lot of snow, said Dan Flory, analyst for the


The largest buyer of CDWR's water is the Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California. Its full allotment is 2
million acre-feet. It serves cities such as Los Angeles, San
Diego, Long Beach and Anaheim.